27 May (Sun): Talk on "Conserving South-east Asia's biodiversity: Mission impossible?"

Learn more about Southeast Asia's rich biodiversity, how Singapore's biodiversity such as the Banded leaf monkeys are an important part, and what we can do to conserve them.
Singapore's Banded leaf monkey
Photo by Chan Kwok Wai
This talk is part of the Festival of Biodiversity! The passionate nature community comes together to share the mind-boggling biodiversity from our forests to seashores, even our backyards and parks! 

Part I: A Regional Overview
Not only is South-East Asia one of the most biodiverse corners of the Earth, it also supports a long list of highly charismatic species like the giant Rafflesia, the Orangutan and many more species that have yet to be described. Unfortunately, the region is also home to nearly one tenth of humanity which naturally results in the world's most rapidly vanishing forests. This talk explores the biodiversity crisis from a South-east Asian perspective, with a focus on the region's most pressing conservation challenges and what is needed to slow down the Sixth Extinction, one which is consuming the region's species.

Part II: Conservation Lessons from Threatened Primates in South-East Asia
The banded leaf monkeys in Singapore are critically endangered, with an estimated population of 40 individuals. Recent genetic study reveals that this species has the lowest genetic variability among leaf monkeys. The Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys are one of the top 25 most endangered primates in the world. Endemic to northern Vietnam, there are only approximately 200 individuals left in the wild. While it is important to increase the protection of their habitat in Singapore and Vietnam respectively, our two case studies show that it is equally important to engage local people in conservation efforts.

Yong Ding Li (South-east Asian Biodiversity Society) has studied or travelled through most parts of South-east Asia and is very familiar with its biodiversity, as are the conservation challenges faced by its people. He has also written many peer-reviewed papers and contributed to a number of books on biodiversity in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Andie Ang (South-east Asian Biodiversity Society, University of Colorado at Boulder) is currently a PhD student in Biological Anthropology at CU Boulder. Her research interests are in the social behavior and genetic variability of Asian colobine primates. She has worked on the banded leaf monkeys in Singapore and Malaysia, and the white-handed gibbons in Thailand. Currently, she is trying to examine the genetic variability of endangered primates in Vietnam in order to contribute to their conservation.

Time: 4pm
Venue: Function Hall, Singapore Botanic Gardens location map
Website and contact: http://festivalofbiodiversitysingapore.wordpress.com/programme/concurrent-events/talks/

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